Meet me in St. Louis, Daniel-san! The new musical adaptation of The Karate Kid is headed to the home of the Gateway Arch for its pre-Broadway tryout.
According to a report from Deadline, The Karate Kid — The Musical will kick off a limited month-long engagement through Stages St. Louis beginning May 22nd, 2022. Helmed by Japanese director Amon Miyamoto, the show will then run through June 26th.
While casting for the new musical has yet to be announced, Robert Mark Kamen — the screenwriter of the original 1984 classic — is handling the script, with music and lyrics by Smash composer Drew Gasparini. (Yes, we have him to thank for helping write Hit List, the fictitious show-within-a-show that eventually spawned a real-life 2013 concert event starring Jeremy Jordan, Andy Mientus, and Krysta Rodriguez. Smash was a crazy time, y’all.)
“When I was a young man, my life was forever changed by traditional Okinawan Karate and the instructors who taught it to me,” Kamen shared in a statement. “The Karate Kid is my love letter to both those masters and their practice. Karate teaches, above all, to follow your dreams no matter what obstacles are put in front of you, and that is the spirit with which all of us are approaching this show.”
“Karate teaches that if you treat people with inner strength, humility, and the spirit of harmony, there will be no conflict,” added director Miyamoto. “It’s a message that I think we need to hear even more now than we did in 1984, and I am so excited to have the chance to modernize and musicalize this beloved story for what will be the world’s first karate action musical. My deepest hope is that our work resonates with audiences all over the world, spreading the ideas of acceptance and inclusion — which are the opposite of division.”
For his part, Gasparini said, “As I am sure anyone my age can relate to, The Karate Kid has been a major touchstone in my life. It is such an incredible honor to be able to give a musical voice to such an iconic story that means so much to so many people across the globe. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly, and one I am relishing every second of.”
The musical is just the latest iteration of the martial arts story featuring a young Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, which went on to generate three sequels, a 2010 reboot starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, a Netflix spinoff series currently heading into its fourth season, and more.